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Mariah's avatar

Qualities of a good/bad college roommate?

Asked by Mariah (19100 points ) December 4th, 2011

Heading back to the dorms soon, and I want to be a good roommate! I’ll probably be moving in before my suitemates get in and I’m thinking I’ll bake some cookies for when they arrive. What general qualities, in your opinion, make a good or bad roommate?

Answers that avoid hyperbole would be most helpful; I already know that good roommates don’t pee on each others’ beds.

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It really depends on the people involved. What I want in a roommate is:

Someone who keeps their own area and the common areas neat.
Someone who is thoughtful. For example, does not blast loud music while I am studying. Does not bring her boyfriend home to screw expecting me to leave the room.

Someone who has a sense of humor and fun.

Someone who is as serious about school as I am.

mazingerz88's avatar

They’re not suppose to pee? Wish I’ve known that a long, long time ago. Lol.

Good qualities, imho, include being sincerely warm and genuinely interested in getting to know one’s roomate. Having cookies out is a great way of breaking the ice. But you can only do so much at this early stage as your roomate’s real personality and attitudes, as well as yours, would only surface as time goes by. Knowing how to adapt when things go a bit dicey is one good quality of a roomate.

I had one who was an enjoyable company, very supportive and trustworthy with most of my things like money but not my perfume. He went to the trouble of replacing with water the perfume which he took from my bottle so I won’t notice. I chose not to say anything, after all it was just perfume and I didn’t want to embarrass him. That Christmas I gave him a whole bottle of that perfume as a gift. Did I do the right thing? Was I a good roommate? I’d like to think so.

Aster's avatar

I liked roommates who would not criticize me or my behavior . Someone who was an accepting friend and who was quiet. And for my first semester, that’s what I got. She had her ideas of what college was for and I had mine.

YARNLADY's avatar

For me, the best roommate is someone who cleans up after herself and is serious about school, including going to class every day and spending most her time doing homework.

linguaphile's avatar

I went to a boarding school when I was 15, so I basically had 10 years worth of roommates by the time I finished college.

The worst:
“Borrowed” my clothes—it was a shock seeing my outfits walking around campus without my knowledge
Hid dirty dishes in the fridge and toaster oven (at least they’re not visible??!!)
Gave me the silent treatment or left nasty notes
Made demands, not requests
Stunk to high heaven
Did the horizontal tango with my boyfriend
Played with Rosie and her 5 sisters and “Buzz” OFTEN (and stunk)
Went to bed every night, on the dot, at 9 PM and expected 100% silence and darkness afterwards, then threw back the curtains promptly at 7 AM, regardless of whether or not I wanted them open (she was by far the worst…)

The best:
Knew how to tip toe around quietly with just enough light when I was asleep (and I did the same in return)
Knew how to keep their space while still being comfortable and relaxed
Weren’t too messy or too neat
Knew we were two different people with different lifestyles and expectations
Knew how to bring up awkward topics for discussion and were honest about their feelings, wants and needs
Is a friend without being too needy or close and is a great friend without expectations to hang out all the time

My best roommate was my best male friend’s girlfriend—she was the nasty food hider, but other than that, was an excellent roommate. When did we become roommates? The last semester of college. Aiee!

JLeslie's avatar

I had great college roomates. We respected each others things, never borrowed anything without asking first. We let each other know if we weren’t coming home at night, but we didn’t have cell phones back then, so I guess if a roomate is worried now they can just send a text to make sure you are ok.

One college roomate of mine complained about her freshman roommate, because she would just buy things and fill up the room with her stuff. Furniture for her sweaters, things like that. It was like she was an only child allowing someone else to live in her room. To some extent we all bring some of our own stuff to the dorms of course, but being aware of each others space is a good thing to do.

My first roomate already had a TV, carpet, and fridge for us, which was great! She always let me use them, which I appreciated, I bought a couple other things to supplement the room, and I did the vaccuuming.

Also, my third day of living in the dorm she asked me if I wanted her to pick me up season football tickets, because she was going to stand on line and buy hers. It was nice of her to offer such a thing when we barely knew each other.

wundayatta's avatar

The best roommate is the one who is either a great friend who you get along famously with, or who is never there.

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